Oregon Desert Trail in February

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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Oregon Desert Trail in February

Post by buckwheat » December 16th, 2020, 8:33 pm

Hi everyone -

My work is going to be shutdown for most of February for construction, so I will have 1-4 weeks to play with. I was hoping of going to eastern Oregon and hiking some sections of the ODT. Longest stretch I would want to do would probably be 40-50 miles, but ideally I wouldn't just be hiking through snow the whole time. I would bring all my supplies with to minimize covid transmission risk (beyond refueling the car).

Have any of you hiked the trail? Or sections of it? Are there any parts that would be reasonable to attempt in the winter, or will it all be snow covered? I don't mind freezing temperatures, especially at night, but don't want to just be trailblazing through 3' of snow for the entire trip. I normally aim for 15-25 mile days, so if there's 100 miles that are just beautiful, I am willing to consider things longer than the 40-50 miles but that was a ballpark to start out with.

I've spent some time on the ODT website looking into it, but wanted to get your opinions of it. Based out of Corvallis, so the NW end of the trail by Bend would be a ~4 hour drive, but I haven't gotten much of the logistics beyond that. If hiking stretches of it is completely impractical during February, I will probably find something else to do with my time, but it seemed like a good option.

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retired jerry
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Re: Oregon Desert Trail in February

Post by retired jerry » December 17th, 2020, 6:37 am

Too cold and snowy?

If you watch weather reports, you can probably catch a 1 week stretch of tolerable weather

winter and spring hikes in the field guide has some possibilities for February

I'm not very familiar with ODT. If you're really adventurous??? At least you can melt snow for water which is one problem with ODT

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Re: Oregon Desert Trail in February

Post by jessbee » December 18th, 2020, 8:00 am

You could reach out to the folks at ONDA, who might be able to help. I've been on brief sections of it. Do know that it's a route, not a trail, so for long pieces of it you're on gravel roads or navigating cross country.

Like Jerry said, if there's snow you'll at least have water. That's one of the biggest logistical hurdles of the ODT.

Not knowing exactly which sections you'll be on, and planning for February, makes it hard to give advice. Local BLM stations would be more helpful for current conditions.
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